If those old deed books in Monmouth County’s Hall of Records could talk
Official records indicate this house was built in 1901, but the date is dubious. Transactions involving the property (whether or not it had a house on it isnt clear) go back to the days Red Bank was a village within Shrewsbury. And theres documentary evidence plus some oral history to suggest the house may be as many as 150 years old.
The first owner to show up in the deeds was one of Red Banks most prominent citizens, Anthony Reckless, whose mansion is now the home of the Womans Club of Red Bank. By todays standards, his buyer, Joe Parker, would seem to have gotten a deal. But poor Joe either went bust or died broke, because the Sheriff got hold of it and resold it.
For most of the 20th century, the houseat the corner of Irving Placewas home to Audrey Proddow, who, were told, was born in it and still living there when she was 89 years old.
Judy Petitti, daughter of a Boston architect, grew up in a 150-year-old house and missed the feel of it. She also longed to be able to walk into a town as vibrant as Red Banks. So after 20 years in Rumson, with their kids grown up (one, Rob, plays football for the Dallas Cowboys), Judy and her husband Robert bought this house, paying a premium because its zoned for offices. Then they set about replacing all its mechanical systems and sprucing up what had become a drab and overgrown exterior, but retaining the best historical aspectsthe original floors, the plaster walls, the windows and more.
It has great bones, says Judy, who pronounces this house her favorite of all those shes ever lived inor even pondered owning in this area. Its been five years, and I havent seen one house in town that I wish wed bought instead, she says.